Gov. Charles Turnbull signed off on a bill Tuesday that provides money for garbage haulers and other government obligations for fiscal year 1999.
More than $2.2 million from the Indirect Cost Fund will be reprogrammed to cover molasses subsidy payments for fiscal year 1999, which ended Sept. 30, and prior years obligations. Another $500,000 from the fund will go to supplement the fiscal year 1999 Rum Promotion subsidy.
Out of the same fund, the governor is seeking more than $1.8 million to reimburse the V.I. Department of Justice for a settlement between the government and contractor ABAMAR-BB involving a lawsuit over work done at the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
Meanwhile, $1.5 million in the Anti-litter and Beautification Fund will go to pay solid-waste contractors for this year and prior years. Garbage haulers on St. Croix stopped work twice in July because they had not been paid. The contractors contend they were owed almost $2 million from as far back as 1995.
Turnbull also wants to use some $140,000 out of the Anti-litter and Beautification Fund to purchase parts for VITRAN buses. The bill also gives Harold Thompson, commissioner of the Department of Public Works, 30 days to explore the possible privatization of VITRAN.
Other elements of Turnbulls bill proposal:
- $550,000 from the general fund for the St. Croix and St. Thomas hospitals to purchase six ambulances, three for St. Croix, two for St. Thomas and one for St. John.
- $150,000 to provide burial benefits for veterans.
- Amending Act. 6275 to allow the Department of Planning and Natural Resources to administer the V.I. Air Protection Fund as required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- $30,000 to the Fire Service for equipment.
- $10,000 for DPW to repair and maintain its garbage trucks.
- $57,250 to the Police Department to pay past-due rental to Caricom Maritime Services.
Another $400,000 will go toward paying the V.I. Housing Authoritys final biweekly payroll in FY 1999. Some $150,000 in interest on bond proceeds will pay for repairs and maintenance at the Guy Benjamin and Julius E. Sprauve Elementary Schools on St. John.